The Women’s Circle by Karyn Sepulveda. (2021).
**4 out of 5 stars**
Sydney, present day. Anna has just left prison after 6 years with her traumatic past a heavy burden. Feeling hopeless, isolated and lonely, she attends an alternative support group: The Women’s Circle. But when she touches an ancient crystal, Anna connects to a woman she has never met in a past she doesn’t recognise. In 1770, a brutal regime torments the English village of Quarrendon and keeps the women apart. Aisleen seeks to defy the rule, reunite with her sister, live life on her own terms. While separated by generations, Anna is drawn to the Anna’s plight. Can their bond help her face her past and embrace her second chance at life?
I really enjoyed this book that combines a modern, contemporary timeline and a historical timeline. Anna has been thrust back into life after spending time in prison, and I found her struggle to stay away from drugs and get her life on track realistic. Aisleen’s circumstances in 1770 was absolutely horrifying to imagine: women not allowed any contact whatsoever with each other. I thought the concept of the crystal connecting Anna and Aisleen was really cool, as was the descriptions of the Women’s Circle; it sounded like a lovely non-judgemental comfort zone. I appreciated the overall tone and message of the novel, which I interpreted as showing the immense strength women can have when supporting one another. I would happily recommend.